COVID-19 and Hearing Loss
Reports of hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) have been associated with COVID-19 for some patients. A scientific review published recently in the International Journal of Audiology summarizes these trends.
Researchers from the University of Manchester conducted a systematic review of available scientific literature regarding COVID-19 and associated hearing loss and tinnitus published through December 2020. Based on stringent criteria for meta-analysis and bias risk, the authors rejected 850 records while 28 case reports and 28 cross-sectional studies met their inclusion criteria. Their analysis of the data revealed that 7-15% of adults diagnosed with COVID-19 reported auditory (ear/hearing) and/or vestibular (balance) symptoms. The most common symptoms
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) – studies show ringing in the ears lasting weeks or months after the infection had cleared.
- Hearing difficulties
- Vestibular issues such as dizziness or vertigo.
To access the full report:
- Almufarrij, I and Munro, KJ (2021). One year on: an updated systematic review of SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and audio-vestibular symptoms, International Journal of Audiology, DOI: 10.1080/14992027.2021.1.
To review an example case study:
- Koumpa FS, Forde CT, Manjaly JG (2020). Case Report: Sudden irreversible hearing loss post COVID-19; British Medical Journal 13:e238419. doi:10.1136
For more information on managing hearing loss and tinnitus:
- American Speech-Language Hearing Association: Tips for Communicating Effectively while Wearing Masks and Physical Distancing
- American Tinnitus Association: Tinnitus and the Corona Virus
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: Health Information
- Special Considerations for Workers with Hearing Loss
- Single-ear Hearing Loss: a Red Flag
- Hearing Loss and OSHA 300 Log
- Tracking Occupational Hearing Loss
- Updated EEOC Guidance Regarding Workers With Hearing Loss